By Natalie Jones
In a shocking early morning vote Dec. 2, the U.S. Senate passed a nearly $1.5 trillion tax rewrite after giving senators just hours to read through a 479-page tax bill, much to the dismay of Democrats.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Trump administration’s major tax reform, passed at 1:50 a.m. with a 51-49 vote, with one Republican and every Democrat in the Senate voting against it. Several Democratic senators took to social media to complain about the bill, which was given to them with handwritten notes in the margins several hours before voting on it.
Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts tweeted a video of her reading through the bill at her desk, criticizing Republican leadership’s ideas of how lawmaking in the Senate works.
“They want us to vote on this thing in about an hour,” she said. “I spent more than an hour making a decision about the refrigerator that we recently bought.”
Sen. Warren read through a portion of the bill in her video, struggling to read through the handwritten edits and additions in the margins, some of which were cut off or scratched out.
“And the Republicans think that’s how you make tax policy late on a Friday night,” she said. “Don’t let anybody read it … whatever else it does to hardworking families, whatever else it does to this economy, they don’t care.”
Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana also tweeted a video complaining about how he was given the bill just hours before he was to vote on it.
“Here’s the tax bill, see how thick it is?” he said, slamming the bill down onto a table. “This is your government at work.”
Sen. Tester skimmed through the first page, showing the handwritten modifications in the margins and pointing to the one illegible word in it.
“Can you tell me what that word is?” he asked. “If you can, you’ve got better eyes than me.”
“This is going to affect everybody in this country,” he continued. “It’s going to shift money from middle class families to the rich.”
The bill gives more tax reductions to businesses and higher-earning individuals, rather than middle class families. The bill also pays off Republican campaign donors, who also benefit from the tax breaks in the bill.
“This is not how America should be making laws,” Sen. Warren said. “Shame on the Republicans.”
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of DonkeyHotey’s Flickr account.
Natalie Jones if a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.